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VCentre and Nimble Storage, Thick vs Thin Provisioning

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cdrummond71
Occasional Contributor

VCentre and Nimble Storage, Thick vs Thin Provisioning

I am upgrading our vCentre and EqualLogic's to the latest vCentre and brand new Nimble's.  My question is how do I provision the volumes.  I am leaning towards thin provision on the Nimble's and Eager Zero (thick provisioning) via vCentre but would like the communities opinion.

Thanks,

Chris

8 REPLIES
pfrisoli27
Valued Contributor
Solution

Re: VCentre and Nimble Storage, Thick vs Thin Provisioning

hello, for most cases you will want to mimic the Nimble/VMFS provisioning. My thought is to leverage Thin as you can extend both the Nimble volumes and ESX datastores as needed, and if ever needed, you can convert thin to thick. I have copied some screen shots and attached our VMware Best Practice Guide for reference. Check out P. 13-14 which reviews this topic. If you have further questions please contact Support and they can provide additional detail. Hope this helps...

cdrummond71
Occasional Contributor

Re: VCentre and Nimble Storage, Thick vs Thin Provisioning

Thanks for the quick response.  Is the performance the same for Eager Zero vs Thin on the Nimble side?

bgrieve65
Valued Contributor

Re: VCentre and Nimble Storage, Thick vs Thin Provisioning

Chris,

You will not see any performance differences between the default thin provisioning vs. using reservations on Nimble.

Brandon Grieve

abouliane119
Occasional Visitor

Re: VCentre and Nimble Storage, Thick vs Thin Provisioning

Thick Provision Lazy Zeroed

Creates  a virtual disk in a default thick format. Space required for the  virtual disk is allocated when the virtual disk  is created. Data  remaining on the physical device is not erased during creation, but is  zeroed out on demand at a later time on first write from the virtual  machine.

Using  the default flat virtual disk format does not zero out or eliminate the  possibility of recovering deleted files or restoring old data that  might be present on this allocated space. You cannot convert a flat disk  to a thin disk.

Thick Provision Eager Zeroed

A  type of thick virtual disk that supports clustering features such as  Fault Tolerance. Space required for the virtual disk is allocated at  creation time. In contrast to the flat format, the data remaining on the  physical device is zeroed out when the virtual disk  is created. It  might take much longer to create disks in this format than to create  other types of disks.

Thin Provision

Use  this format to save storage space. For the thin disk, you provision as  much datastore space as the disk would require based on the value that  you enter for the disk size. However, the thin disk starts small and at  first, uses only as much datastore space as the disk  needs for its  initial operations.

Source : http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-50/index.jsp?topic=%2Fcom.vmware.vsphere.vm_admin.doc_50%2FGUID-4C0F4D73-82F2-4B81-8AA7-1DD752A8A5AC.html

Re: VCentre and Nimble Storage, Thick vs Thin Provisioning

We recently implemented 2xCS460s via dual Brocade VDX 6740s in logical VCS mode. Everything I am doing is thin on the Nimble side and eager zero thick on the VMware side. Since the Nimble disregards the zeros you still get to see actual data usage from a volume perspective in the Nimble console. Very, very happy so far coming from a pretty large EqualLogic stack to this - no comparison with regards to performance whatsoever with half the spindles in play.

Virtualization Lead Architect
BEMA Information Technologies
trsonber42
Occasional Visitor

Re: VCentre and Nimble Storage, Thick vs Thin Provisioning

Are your nimble arrays running exchange DBs and log files?   If so to clarify you are running thin on the nimble side and thick eager zero on the vmware datastore side?  I've seen documentation that says to match it nimble to vmware.

We are also in the process of transitioning from an Equallogic environment

lindy37
Advisor

Re: VCentre and Nimble Storage, Thick vs Thin Provisioning

I am doing the same thing.  I also came from Equallogic and both our technical sales rep and the Nimble instructor in the one day class said to "Thin on Nimble, Thick Egar Zeroed on VM's".  I migrated all of my VM's this way.

lindy37
Advisor

Re: VCentre and Nimble Storage, Thick vs Thin Provisioning

Yes I have two Exchange 2010 Mailbox servers with 3 volumes each.  One to host the C:\, D:\ drives (ESX 5) one for Exchange logs and one for Exchange data.  I backup using Backup Exec 2014 in VM, so no in guest iSCSI for me.

All of them are thin on the Nimble side, Thick eager zero on VM side.  Everything runs great so far.